by Phil Bolton | June 26, 2014
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has joined Project Last Mile’s partners to include Mozambique and nine other African countries in their efforts to supply medicines and medical supplies.
USAID joins the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coca-Cola Co. and its foundations in the public-private partnership that has promised an investment of more than $21 million over the next five years.
Project Last Mile currently is operating in Tanzania and Ghana. The countries to be included aside from Mozambique still are to be determined and are “in various stages of identification and discussion with local governments,” according to a June 23 news release.
Cosmas Mwaifwani, director general of the Medical Stores Department in Tanzania said in the release that since his country began working with the partners in 2010 the availability of medicines in medical clinics has been increased by 20-30 percent.
According to the release, among the project’s benefits have been instruction in how to forecast demand and how to improve market availability for the medicines and vaccines as well as the development of a cold storage equipment chain to properly store and deliver them.
A Coke “infographic” says that “50 percent of all people in Africa lack access to critical medicines . Yet you can get a Coca-Cola anywhere in the world. What if we call came together and shared skills and ideas…”
The graphic concludes, “By drawing on Coca-Cola’s 85-plus years of experience distributing beverages to the most remote corners of Afria, life-saving improvement are being made to the storage, distribution and marketing of critical medicines and medical supplies.”